Craft Advice from the Pros: 10 Tips for Sewing and Quilting

Missouri Star Quilt Company

A beautiful example of modern quilting: Zitronenfalter' by Ulrike Kittel
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Crafting is good year round, but when you're stuck indoors all winter and nothing sounds better than a warm blanket, quilting has a lot of appeal. It's a practical, creative, and history-filled pastime that I know many of our readers love. Whether you're a pro or you're just getting started, here are ten tips for modern quilting, courtesy of Jenny Doan–the gifted quilter, instructor, YouTube celebrity, and owner of Missouri Star Quilt Company.

  1. Always keep your sewing machine in good condition. Clean it regularly, and have it serviced when needed.
  2. It is important to have a sharp rotary blade, as this will prevent cutting accidents. Keep extra blades, needles and thread in your stash.
  3. Use quality fabrics. When you use good quality fabric, you can rest assured that your quilts will stand the test of time (and toddlers, pets, sunshine, washing machines, etc.).
  4. Press to the dark side if possible. That being said, if anyone opens your quilt to check which direction you pressed your seams, they are not your friend! The most important thing is that your quilt is pressed and your top is flat.
  5. Always use a ¼ inch seam when quilting. Remember that your ¼ inch is unique to you. Don’t worry if your seams are bigger or smaller than your neighbors, the key is consistency. If your seams are all the same size, your quilt will be perfectly beautiful!
  6. Never pre-wash your pre-cuts. They will end up a frayed mess! Fabrics have improved in quality so much that we don’t need to worry about shrinkage or fading like we used to.
  7. The bias is your friend. Bias allows us to work in pieces that may not fit exactly. Take your time, pin at seam intersections, and try not to pull your fabric.
  8. Quilting should be fun! Enjoy the journey and remember that if you make a mistake it could just be a whole new pattern! Patterns are more like guidelines for creativity rather than strict regulations.
  9. Take advantage of YouTube tutorials. They have great tips and tricks you might never have thought of!
  10. One more thing…never eat Cheetos while quilting, unless you have orange fabric!
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(Image credits: 'Zitronenfalter' by Ulrike Kittel ; Craftsy)

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